The Chiefs don’t face the 49ers during the regular season, which means that quarterback Alex Smith won’t get a chance to face off with his old teammates in a meaningful game this year.
He will get the chance to play them in an exhibition game on Friday night, however, and he said Monday that there’s a different feeling around the game than there is in a typical preseason affair. While Smith stressed that he thought this was going to be a good test for the team’s offense, he didn’t try to avoid the fact that playing the team you played with during the first eight years of his career makes for some odd feelings.
“It’s different. Of course it’s different. I was there eight years. These are a lot of my good friends. Definitely different,” Smith said during an interview with Alex Marvez and Gil Brandt on Sirius XM NFL Radio. “But the weird thing is, it’s still a preseason game. If it were a regular season game, I think we’d have a little more to talk about but this still isn’t the main focus.”
Smith also said that he didn’t think he would be able to give the Chiefs any schematic edge in the game because his familiarity with the 49ers’ defensive personnel doesn’t extend to their game plans. Since teams generally don’t do much team-specific game-planning at this point in the preseason, that’s probably not much of a problem and the zero stakes nature of the game should mean that it doesn’t wind up looking much different than a preseason game between two teams without any prior relationships.